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A History of Regina in Photographs

Albert Street Memorial Bridge

The Albert Street Memorial Bridge was built in 1930 and is rumored to be the longest bridge over the shortest span of water in the world. The bridge construction was a relief measure during the Great Depression. The project included draining and dredging the adjacent Wascana Lake, building two islands in the lake and constructing the bridge. Known as "Bryant's Folly" after then Public Works Minister, James Bryant, the make-work project was ridiculed by the locals because of its cost. It was opened on November 10, 1930 by Premier J. T. M. Anderson, dedicated as a memorial to the Saskatchewan soldiers who died in World War I and named in honour of Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert.

The bridge was designed by the architectural firm of Puntin, O'Leary, and Coxall, and is noted for its Egyptian ornamentation, lamp standards and glazed terra-cotta balusters and buffalo heads. The bridge is 850 feet long and 74 feet wide.

Bentley, Carol M. Regina, Pride of the Prairies. Regina: Windsor Publications, 1991.
Nilson, Ralph. Discover Saskatchewan: A Guide to Historic Sites. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 1998.

Buffalo Pound Lake

Buffalo Pound Lake is situated 90 kilometers west of Regina and 25 kilometers northeast of Moose Jaw. The name "Buffalo Pound" refers to the method used by indigenous people to capture the plains bison using the natural topography as corrals or buffalo pounds. Developing a reservoir in the Qu'Appelle Valley created the man-made lake. It is connected to the South Saskatchewan River system through the Qu'Appelle River. Buffalo Pound Lake is the main source of the water used in Moose Jaw and Regina and is supplied by pipeline.

The Buffalo Pound Lake was officially opened on June 30, 1955. The cost of the Buffalo Pound Lake water project was $7,000,000.

Regina Leader Post, May 16, 1955.
The Water Story: From Buffalo Pound to your tap (pamphlet), City of Regina, 1989.

Grain Elevators

The familiar wooden grain elevator structure has been around in Saskatchewan since the early 1900's. The vertical grain storage bins allowed the railway boxcars to be loaded by the force of gravity.

After the transcontinental railroad was completed the CPR provided free sites along the rail lines and offered boxcars to groups building a standard type of elevator. The railway grain buyers controlled the movement of grain. The last elevator standing in Regina was one of the oldest in the province, dating back to possibly 1906. It was originally constructed by the Lake of the Woods Milling Company. It stood at 2310 Saskatchewan Drive and was owned most recently by the United Grain Growers. It was demolished in 1996.

The Saskatchewan Cooperative Elevator Company was established in 1911 with 2,565 farmer shareholders and that year built 40 new elevators in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, headquartered in Regina, was formed in 1924 and merged with the Elevator Company. The first Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator went up in Bulyea, north of Regina, in 1925.

Regina Leader Post, August 25, 1980 and May 3, 1996.

Imperial Oil Refinery

Imperial Oil Limited opened a large refinery on the northern outskirts of Regina in 1917 to serve the growing market for petroleum products in the west.

Described as the largest manufacturing works of any kind in the province, it was capable of refining 1,500 barrels of crude oil per day. The oil was initially transported by rail from fields in Wyoming and later from Turner Valley in Alberta.

Brennan, J. William. Regina, an illustrated history. Toronto: James Lorimer & Co., 1989.

Last Mountain House

Situated on a high plateau above Last Mountain Lake, northwest of Craven, the Hudson's Bay Company established Last Mountain House as a winter outpost of Fort Qu'Appelle in 1869. The resource-rich area provided meat, grease and pemmican for other Hudson's Bay Company posts. Although abandoned in 1870, the post has been reconstructed with archaeological displays and walking trails.

Nilson, Ralph. Discover Saskatchewan: A Guide to Historic Sites. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 1998.

Lebret Shrine

This shrine in the Qu'Appelle valley is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The parish, also named Sacred Heart, was established in 1864 and eventually included a school and a seminary. The shrine, a small chapel, was originally built on top of a hill north of Lebret in 1919, in thanksgiving for the end of World War I. It was built by Rev. J. B. Boyer and included statues brought from France in the 1880's by Rev. Fr. Magnan. This shrine was destroyed by fire on May 28, 1928. The Way of the Cross and a new shrine were built on a lower site and dedicated on July 1, 1929. The miniature chapel and the wandering footpath that connects the fourteen Stations of the Cross symbolize the journey of Jesus to the site of the Crucifixion at Calvary.

Nilson, Ralph. Discover Saskatchewan: A Guide to Historic Sites. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 1998.

Victoria Park

Victoria Square was a two-block public reserve set aside in 1883.

The Lawn Tennis Club played on cinder courts in one corner of Victoria Square, while baseball and other sports were played on the remainder. The Square was a gathering place for families.

In 1906 the property was one of the sites considered for the new provincial legislative building.

The city took steps to make the downtown more attractive. Frederick Todd of Montreal was engaged to beautify the treeless square now know as Victoria Park. A fountain was erected in 1909 but was removed in 1925 to make way for the cenotaph, a monument to Regina's citizen killed in World War I. The fountain was eventually relocated to Rotary Park on Regina Avenue and dedicated to the memory of Nicholas Flood Davin.

Drake, Earl G. Regina, the Queen City. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1955.

Wascana Lake

A lake in the centre of Regina was created in 1883 when a dam and bridge were constructed between Angus Street and Rae Street, west of the present location of the Albert Street Bridge. Although this reservoir was described as a "stock watering hole", by 1884 it had become a lake large enough to allow Regina residents to enjoy using their sailboats in the summer.

By 1908 the government concluded the old dam was unsuitable and had a new bridge built on Albert Street, a reinforced concrete arch span 80 feet in length and a dam to hold back the waters of Wascana Creek. Water from Wascana Lake was used for domestic and stock-watering purposes, for use at the new legislative buildings and grounds and for cooling purposes at the city's power plant.

In 1931 during the Great Depression the city initiated a public works project as relief for unemployed workers. Reconstruction of the Albert Memorial Bridge and dam and the deepening of the lake were undertaken. The soil material removed from the bottom of the lake was used to form Willow Island and Spruce Island.

In conjunction with the Centennial of the City of Regina in 2003 and the Province of Saskatchewan in 2005, a major rejuvenation project took place at Wascana Lake with all levels of government involved. The lake was drained and during the frozen winter months the lakebed was dredged to a new depth. Improvements to the dam, the islands, walkways and lighting reconfirmed Wascana Lake as the pride of Regina.

Riddell, W. A. The Origin and Development of Wascana Centre. Regina, 1962. Hughes, Bob The Big Dig: the Miracle of Wascana Centre. Regina: Centax Books, 2004.

Wascana Park

Located on the north shore of Wascana Lake, these 44 acres of land was the first park developed along the creek. In 1906 the federal government transferred to the City the land between Albert and Cornwall streets and from College Avenue to the lake in exchange for nine blocks of city land. This area was developed into a park - the original Wascana Park.

Wascana Centre was established in 1962 by an act of the Saskatchewan Legislature. It extends over 2,000 acres (810 hectares) of land and 300 acres (120 hectares) of water in the heart of Regina. Wascana Park is one of the many park areas within Wascana Centre.

Riddell, W. A. The Origin and Development of Wascana Centre. Regina, 1962.

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